Is there no end to the foods and other products that can get soy’led? Probably not, and these days soy could be lurking anywhere and everywhere. Although soy can seem like a renewable “green alternative” to petroleum products, the soy-ling of America is bad news indeed for people with severe soy allergies.
In the past, I’ve published the names of common food products likely to contain soy, and exposed many of the aliases soy can hide under — hydrolyzed plant protein, textured vegetable protein, lecithin and bouillon, for starters. The good news for consumers is the Food Allergen Labeling Act of 2006 requires food manufacturers to clearly spell out “s-o-y” on food labels. Even so, I never cease to be amazed at what I find. I expect the “dirty dozen” exposed here will be a surprise to many.
1. Cast iron cookware Lodge cast iron cookware has been a symbol of old-fashioned quality for more than 100 years. The new ones, however, come pre seasoned with, guess what? Yup, soy oil. Other “pre seasoned” brands too? Probably. What did our do-it-yourselfer ancestors season with? Good old fats like tallow.
2. Melt Away Cupcake Liners. Weary of peeling paper off your cupcakes or muffins? Then some prize-winning students at Purdue University have just the thing for you. Their entry in the Student Soybean and Corn Innovation Contest of 2009 was a “melt away” liner that disappears like magic right into the cupcake itself. In other words, “Not in your trash. Trash down the hatch.”
3. Celestial Seasonings Tea Black Cherry and maybe some other flavors too contains soy lecithin. And if the celestial ones are soy-ling tea, other brands may be doing so too.
4. White Russians. Did you know there are vegan bars where the White Russians are made with soymilk? If your friendly neighborhood bar has gone vegan, count on cream drinks getting soy-led.
5. Salt Answer RX. This Jimoto product is made up of modified potato starch, artificial flavor, monoammonium glutamate, sucrose, lactic acid, citric acid, hydrogenated soybean oil, silicone dioxide, calcium lactate and maltodextrin. What to do instead, how about salt? Old-fashioned salt. Big Pfood warns us to get off salt right now for a lot of reasons and allegedly for our own good. The truth is the new salt substitutes are addictive and profitable as they make people want to eat, eat and eat some more.
6. Vaccines. Most health conscious people already know about the mercury and/or aluminum found in vaccines. Less well known is that the industry has been turning to soy adjuvants. It may be in the chicken pox vaccine, among others.
7. Pates. Chicken, duck and goose liver pates at Whole Foods Market look like the real thing — and are priced like a real thing — but may contain soy protein isolate, among other dubious ingredients Why? To increase profits, obviously, but maybe also to put its upscale consumers in touch with the common folk. SPI, after all, is found in Bumblebee and other supermarket brands of canned tuna. As it happens, the soy industry plans a future of soy-led ham, chicken, turkey and other meats. Solbar’s “novel” new soy protein ingredients will “improve mouth feel and overall product quality through their low viscosity and strong gelling properties.” And that’s not all folks! This “novel” technology will allow “smoother injection machine entry.”
8. Instant Oatmeal . Believe it or not, ingredients can include soy protein isolate, partially hydrogenated soy oil, high fructose corn syrup and other goodies. Who would have thunk it? Read those labels. With oatmeal, at least, we still have the right to know when it’s no longer Grandma’s oatmeal.
9. Soft drinks. Mountain Dew, Squirt, Fanta Orange and other citrusy sodas may contain brominated vegetable oil, a product developed as a flame retardant. Now why might brominated vegetable oil (probably from soy oil) be in soda? To keep the other hazardous ingredients from spontaneously combusting? Nope. It’s to emulsify the citrus-like flavors. Wouldn’t want them separating and floating to the surface now, would we?
10. Artificial fire logs. Soy, and lord knows what else, might end up in the smoke we breathe. Soy candles are billed as “clean burning” but might also be a problem for people with soy allergies.
11. Sofas. Probably NOT a problem unless people get down and naked on cushions that have been ripped or unzipped. If there’s soy in there, it’s most likely in the form of soy foam, a product that is increasingly pitched to environmentally conscious consumers. Interestingly enough, this is a different kind of “hidden soy.” Seems that soy foam actually contains very little soy — so little that Debra Lynn Dadd, the Queen of Green, calls it an excellent example of “greenwashing.” Seems soy foam is regular polyurethane with just a small percentage of soy in it. And there are all the usual flame retardants and other petro-chemicals to boot. “They can’t put a higher percentage of soy because soy breaks down too fast,” she says.
12. Corkboards and floor mats. New versions made out of soy and/or corn may soon set foot in the marketplace. Probably not a problem except for people with contact allergies who touch them with bare hands or feet. Others will experience no problems unless they eat them. Chew on a soy/corn corkboard or floor board? Don’t laugh. Jacob Smoker, one of the Purdue students who invented this prize-winning new product, bit into it and reported it to be “really sweet.” Good to know if your stomach is rumbling, the frig is empty, you aren’t allergic to soy, and not the least bit fussy about taste and texture. While I can’t imagine ever being so tempted, I do have a concern: If cork can be soy-led, will wine corks be next?
* * * *🖨️ Print post
Romalyn Tilghman says
Don’t forget shampoo! My hairdresser gives great scalp massages … rubbing the soy straight into my system.
Suzanne Lackman says
I am recovering from estrogen-based cancer and my surgeon told me to throw out everything with soy since soy creates estrogen along with Flax seed, both phytoestrogens. I am also taking estrogen blockers for 5-10 years to keep the cancer from coming back. When I started looking at all of the labels in my house, I was shocked to see almost everything has soy in it, including cans of tuna fish, skin care, hair care, pet foods, salad dressings, bakery goods, breads, cans of nuts, bag of nuts, crackers, cereals, popcorn…….vitamins, peanut butter. The manufacturers are using a lot of the soy as emulsifiers to keep the ingredients together and their profits up because they could use other products which aren’t harmful or deadly. Then when I learned the soy bean is often split by the manufacturers using hexane, a petroleum product which helps to sustain shelf life. But what about our life expectancy ? Please pay attention to what you are buying for your family and eating. Soy is one of the top 8 allergens and I don’t want precious lives lost due to corporate greed !
John Burlingame says
Soy makes me sick, it has destroyed my life.
Karen green says
Want to learn more
John Burlingame says
Any form of contact from soy, soy lecithin gives me instant dementia. At this rate all soda’s will be off my plate. Pepsi now contains soy. I’m a bubble boy to soy lecithin.
My husband is very sensitive to soy. If he has some he gets extremely irritable. Even to the point of punching the windshield on his van. The firsts thing we do when he gets irritable is look for a food infraction. Sure enough, even tonight, he drank a Mt. Dew, not realizing it has soy.
Magnesium malate helps to stem the irritability. But we try to avoid soy in all things.
Soy causes me to have blistery rashes on my hands, feet and legs! They take forever to go away. The solution to pollution is dilution and it’s even in tea! What’s next? Water???!
I was with some women yesterday with stage 4 breast cancer. One of them said that her oncologist said that wine was loaded with soy and to stay away from it. Is that true? If there is soy in wine shouldn’t it be on the label?
Maureen Diaz says
I don’t know where the doctor got his information (I found none in an extensive search online), but certainly there is no reason for there to be soy in wine. However, most grapes are grown using pesticides, so this might be one good reason to avoid non-organic wines. There are also a lot of carbs in wine, so for someone with cancer I would be very cautious about any alcohol consumption.
Christine Applegate says
I rarely drink wine or beer, but Independence Day holiday got me. I had a severe soy-type reaction after drinking a cheap red (boxed) wine. I have no doubt there was soy in it, probably labeled as natural flavor. Natural flavor that is soy based is not required to be labeled as soy. I just stick to the hard liquor at parties now. I wish I was joking.
How can I determine if the “natural flavors” listed in a food item is soy-based? Many products, including organic, list “natural flavors” and I cannot figure out which are from soy and which are not.
Also, please tell me of any apps that can help know what food items are completely soy-free and restaurants that offer soy-free items.
Soy in all forms for me causes anaphalaxis( this is very severe…low weak blood pressure, hard time breathing etc). I have gone into anaphalaxic shock( a very serious condition that can lead to coma/death) just from eating soy!! Thank goodness for Epipens, and 911, or I wouldn’t be alive today!
I am very suspicious that soy wax (that is used to make soy candles) releases some toxic into the air when burnt. I have tried to find information about it but all the search results say that soy wax is very safe and natural. I say this because a few days before I woke up with my head feeling very strange, like it was floating and there was not enough blood there, and I had severe dizziness when lying down. I always eat the same food have the same habits, the only thing that was different the day before that was that I used soy wax in my homemade candles. I notice that the soy wax does have some unpleasant smell when burnt, which could be the reason why in commercial soy wax candles they always put some fragrant in them, and claim that soy wax disperse scent better than other waxes. I do not have any allergic to soy, so I strongly believe that it was not just some allergy but some toxic that can affect neurological system. I have made homemade candles using lard and shortening and beewax and have never experienced any health problem like I did with soy wax. I don’t know exactly what kind of toxic is in there, but if anyone can identify it it would be helpful.